Can you live on a part-time job?

Can you live on a part-time job?

Yes, you can live on a part-time job. You would need to define what are your financial goals, professional goals, and overall goals in life. Typically it won't be a luxurious living, but many people pay their bills with jobs considered part-time positions.

Many choose part-time jobs for more free time, personal freedom, and happiness. Working part-time is ideal for those who want to spend more time with their families – especially those who value the opportunity to pick up their young children from school. Or those who want to free up time for their hobbies and extracurricular activities.

But it does come with some implications.

When you choose a part-time job, you potentially are choosing lower income and less job security (health insurance, sick leave, holiday pay, vacations, etc.). On top of that, employers often don’t guarantee the number of working hours per week or month, and they can make you redundant easier than a full-time worker.

How can you lower these risks for your life? Here are some key things to consider:

  • Keep your expenses low / Set budgets for everything
  • Build Up An Emergency Fund
  • Try to find the highest-paid part-time jobs
  • Consider getting several part-time jobs
  • Try to build additional income streams

Keep your expenses low / Set budgets for everything.

You must make tradeoffs to add more time to your life. Frugality will help you to have less stress and manage your expenses much better. Clear your debt, lower your fixed costs (accommodation, commute), and avoid excessive consumption.

You can choose not to take a mortgage because it comes with additional expenses (such as insurance, for example) and try to rent a simple flat or room.

Your part-time job can be near your home or remote to save on commute expenses.

Set daily and monthly budgets for food, bills, and clothes and never exceed them. Budgets would give you an idea of how much money you need per month.

Build up an emergency fund.

Since you have less job security and your income is not guaranteed, it’s a good idea to have an emergency fund. Try to have at least 2-3 months of your minimum expenses (e.g., if you need $2,000 per month for your life, aim for $4,000 - $6,000 in your emergency fund).

It will give you peace of mind if your income fluctuates from month to month or if something unexpected happens (if you get sick, need to travel, etc.)

Try to find the highest-paid part-time jobs.

Your goal is to work fewer hours, so you need to make the most of it. Find jobs that cover your minimum expenses + 10%-15% for your emergency fund/savings account. Here are some of the highest-paid part-time jobs:

  • Private tutor
  • Accountant
  • Waiter/Bartender
  • Delivery/Taxi driver
  • Real-estate agent

Ultimately, all of the high-paying part-time jobs above could be great choices. While some require additional education, training, or licensing, the flexibility can make that worthwhile.

Consider getting several part-time jobs.

You can try to find two part-time jobs (let’s say two days per week each), which will still give you one extra day off. At the same time, if something happens to your first job, you always have the second one - so it’s more secure.

If you can balance more than one part-time job, it also can bring you more money. If you combine a 30-hour per week part-time job with a 20-hour one, you may pull in a more significant income than a single full-time position would provide. But of course, it comes at the expense of your free-time

Try to build additional income streams.

It’s easier than it sounds and will lead you to financial independence. Working as a part-timer gives you more time to do what you love. It can be painting, writing, designing, or coding - the list is endless. It might be a good idea to start selling your skills as a freelancer or start a blog about your passion. These things can help to bring additional income to your life and make you worry less about your job security.


As you can see, living on a part-time job is possible. It will require financial discipline and some tradeoffs, but it can be a viable solution if you look for more time for yourself and your family.

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